Movie Review: ‘Battleship’ bombs with weak, predictable storyline

Nathan Gordon | ng312310@ohiou.edu | @GordonRises
Battleship | Directed by Peter Berg | Rated PG-13


First Words

When you look back at the times when you played the game Battleship, do you ever recall having to deal with aliens while playing? Yeah me neither. So before I even saw the movie, I was already skeptical of how it was going to turn out.

And after the film finally ended, my preconceived notions weren’t that far off.

Plot
Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) has worn out his welcome in the Navy. While out in the Pacific Ocean going through his last exercises, an alien ship arrives and puts a stop to those plans. After the aliens show they aren’t here to play nice, Alex must lead his crew against the attack. While learning how to be a true leader, Alex, along with his crew, must figure out exactly how they can stop their new enemies.
Positives
Battleship wouldn’t have much going for it if it weren’t for the special effects. The effects weren’t great (which included the most lackluster city destruction of recent action films), but they were good enough to make the movie bearable. The best moments came when a ship was exploding. When you think about it, it’s hard to make a great action special effects movie dealing with mainly ships. With that said, Battleship made a good attempt to get the best of what they could out of what they were working with.

While personally I’m still trying to come to grips with why aliens had to be thrust into a movie that is supposed to be based on the game Battleship, I will give the film some credit for implementing some elements of the game into the movie. After seeing the trailers and hearing about those aliens, I wasn’t sure if there would be much from the game included in the film, besides the simple fact that there are ships. Thankfully there were. There wasn’t a great deal of moments but there were a few. The crews in the Navy would call for certain sections of the alien ships to be bombed and when the aliens bombed back, they would take out the ships in sections just like in the game.
Negatives.

Not to jump on the aliens again but their presence didn’t help the story in anyway, but it wasn’t its only flaw. The story’s boring and predictability really hindered the film as well. When we meet Alex, the bad-decision-making slacker, and see him get into the army, we can already guess how his story is going to play out. The addition of the on-the-shore characters to handle the very weak aliens who travel on shore could have easily been rethought.

The cast was also a weak spot. Taylor Kitsch isn’t a bad actor, but he just isn’t ready to lead a film. After starring in the earlier box-office bomb John Carter, Kitsch doesn’t have the consistency, acting-wise, to carry a movie, nor a big enough audience to bring out viewers.

The rest of the cast didn’t blow anyone away either. Rihanna, in her first big role as Cora Raikes, showed that she still has a lot of work to do. But that was expected. Liam Neeson’s presence deserved nowhere near top billing. Yes, he is the biggest name in the movie, but by no means did he star in it. By being the best actor in the film, giving his character more screen time could have given Battleship an acting performance we could walk away satisfied with.

And with the talent lacking on the casting side, it didn’t help that the script was also lackluster. It’s kind of hard to watch some parts throughout the film when you hear the actors trying to say stale jokes.

Last Words
Aliens in Battleship still don’t make sense to me. I realize aliens are thrown in so many action movies nowadays, but for a movie based off a game that had nothing to do with aliens, I think the addition was very unnecessary. I can complain about this for days, but I’ll stop now.
Everything else in Battleship wasn’t much better than the presences of the aforementioned space creatures, except for the special effects. If you’re going to see Battleship, be prepared for a subpar summer blockbuster flick that shows NO resemblance to the Transformers films, no matter how the trailers try to portray it.

RATING: 2/5

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3 comments
  1. steve Y said:

    too true…. a movie that throws away it’s original premise is DOOMED to fail. CLUE worked because it ACCEPTS its premise…. BS is bs on that front…

  2. Mr. WarBuks said:

    This movie wasn’t bad but so familiar. Yes this movie has a predictable story line but the vivid scenes were the best. The Hi-fi solutions were perfect. The plot and interaction in the scenes were great. ost likely why the movie was approved. Similiar movie that didnt go that big was Battle: Los Angeles which was close in story line and should have been a continuation and it probably would have produced a better outcome. This would be movies new addition to the cinema world like the movie Avengers’ that added three or four different movie characters’ into one film. So Independence day, Battle: Los Angeles, and your movie could have all ran together and still end all the same way. And the coming together of all would have mad a bundle of funds.

  3. grogg said:

    How in the heck could they make a movie based on the game Battleship??? The game is boring enough let alone a two hour movie….

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